2Roots in Worship of Dionysus God of wine and revelry
3Origins Celebration of Dionysus- God of Wine Performed in circular dancing place (orchestra)A chorus of men dressed in goat skinsTrageoia= goat songA story about Dionysus by leader of the chorus
4PRODUCTION Orchestra Chorus (from 12-15 people) Actors- always men, masked and in costumesEarly plays of Aeschylus- only two actors; by about 450 B.C., a third had been addedThe poet composed the music and the dance as well as the text, directed the production, and trained the chorus; some dramatists also played the leading roles.
8The Greek ChorusThe chorus was dominant because there was usually one actor and that actor had to leave the stage several times during a show to change characters.The chorus was to be a representation of society, they often served as the “ideal spectator” by providing advice, opinions, questions to the audience and actors.The main actor(s) stood apart in the performance space because they typically played heroic figure that would realistically be separated from normal mortal beings.Their costumes and masks added spectacle and their movement and dance heightened the dramatic effect.Great actors were characterized by their voice quality and the ability to adopt their manner of speaking to the character.
9Functions of Chorus The beauty of poetry and dancing Relieves tension Interprets events for audienceOften converses with the actors; gives adviceGives background of events
11Tragedy A drama of a character, usually one in high position, where a conflict usually develops between the protagonist/hero and a “superior force (such as destiny, circumstance, or society)” and the story ends in some sort of disaster or great fall of the protagonist.Tragedyn A drama of a character, usually one in ahigh position, where a conflict usuallydevelops between the protagonist/heroand a “superior force (such as destiny,circumstance, or society)” and the storyends in some sort of disaster or great fallof the protagonist.
12Hubris and Hamartia On Hamartia: “A tragic flaw or error that in ancient Greek tragedies leads to the hero’sreversal of fortune.”On Hubris: Excessive pride or arrogance.Often leads to the downfall of the majorcharacter in Greek tragedy.
13Thespis of Athens Ca. 535 B.C.E. Father of Drama Created the first actorHypokrites13
14Moving on… New myths are used, not just Dionysus Aeschylus: introduced second actorDialogueSophocles: introduced third actorDramatic action
15GREAT GREEK TRAGEDIANS AESCHYLUS (ca B.C.)SOPHOCLES (ca B.C.)EURIPIDES (c B.C.)
16AESCHYLUS (ca.525-456 B.C.) The "Father of Tragedy" Addition of a second actorMade much use of imageryHis tragedy deals Fates and the justice of the godsHis plays reflect the contemporary belief that the gods, jealous and resentful of human greatness, typically inflict great persons with a character flaw that brings their ruin
18SOPHOCLES (ca B.C.)Won the competition at the Great Dionysia more often than any other of the great dramatistsHe increased the potential for dramatic conflict by adding a third actorwrote dramas which were complete in themselves, rather than always part of a trilogySophoclean drama deals primarily with strong characters
19EURIPIDES (c B.C.)Wrote prolifically- some 90 plays, of which 19 survivedHe won the prize for the best play only four times (but then the Academy Awards usually get it wrong too).He wrote of less heroic, more realistic characters
20EURIPIDES Cont.One device he uses (and it is often seen as a weakness in his plays) is the deus ex machina, a god, not involved earlier in the action, who descends in a stage machine to straighten out the mess humans have got themselves into.
21Structure of Tragedy Prologue-First Act Parados- Entrance of the ChorusEpisodes- ActsStasima-Choral OdesExedus- Action after last stasimon
22Typical Greek Theatre Theatron- where the audience sits Open air HillsideSeating capacity of the Theatron of Dionysus of Athens?About 17,000
25Orchestra-dancing place of the chorus Skene- dressing room for actorsProscenium- the façade of the skene where scenery was-No curtainsDues et Machina- technical device- crane atop the skene with a dummy hung representing gods.
27Deus ex Machina- “God From the Machine” The Machina- a crane that was used to represent characters who were flying or lifted off of the earth.Tunnelfrom behind the Skene to the center of the stage.Scenic wagonsrevealed through doors on the Skene.Pinakespainted panels that could be attached to the skene.
28Differences: Drama, Then and Now Greek drama(GD) is a religiousGD get its subjects from mythologyGD outlines the plot in advance, little suspenceGD main intrest is relgioun and ethical instructionAll Short plays 17,000 longest to 900 shortest
29Rated G No violent action Scenes of horror happen off stage Reported to the audience
30Unity Unity of action- no subplots Unity of place-no change of scenery Unity of time- max of one dayNo intermissionsTwice a year in the day
32Staging an ancient Greek play Plays were funded by the polisPlays presented in competition with other playsTragedies almost exclusively dealt with stories from the mythic pastComedies almost exclusively dealt with contemporary figures and problems.The great tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides were performed annually at the spring festival of Dionysus, god of wine, and inspiration.
51TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA 7th Century BCc. 625 Arion at Corinth produces named dithyrambic choruses6th Century BC Cleisthenes, tyrant of Sicyon, transfers "tragic choruses" to Dionysus Pisistratus, tyrant of Athens, founds the festival of the Greater Dionysia
52TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA Thespis puts on tragedy at festival of the Greater Dionysia in Athens525 Aeschylus was born Phrynichus' first victory in tragedyc. 500 Pratinus of Phlius introduces the satyr play to Athens
53TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA 5th Century BC Aeschylus' first dramatic competitionc. 496 Sophocles was born492 Phrynicus' Capture of Miletus (Miletus was captured by the Persians in 494) 485 Euripides was born 484 Aeschylus' first dramatic victory 472 Aeschylus' Persians 467 Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes468 Aeschylus defeated by Sophocles in dramatic competition
54TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA 463? Aeschylus' Suppliant Women 458 Aeschylus' Oresteia (Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, Eumenides) 456 Aeschylus diesc. 450 Aristophanes was born 447 Parthenon begun in Athensc. 445 Sophocles' Ajax 441 Sophocles' Antigone 438 Euripides' Alcestis Peloponnesian War (Athens and allies vs. Sparta and allies)
55TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA 431 Euripides' Medeac. 429 Sophocles' Oedipus the King 428 Euripides' Hippolytus 423 Aristophanes' Clouds 415 Euripides' Trojan Women 406 Euripides dies; Sophocles dies 405 Euripides' Bacchae404 Athens loses Peloponnesian War to Sparta
56TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA 401: Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus4th Century BC 399 Trial and death of Socratesc. 380's Plato's Republic includes critique of Greek tragedy and comedyc. 330's Aristotle's Poetics includes defense of Greek tragedy and comedy
58“Indeed, some say that dramas are so called, because their authors represent the characters as "doing" them (drôntes). And it is on this basis that the Dorians [= the Spartans, etc.] lay claim to the invention of both tragedy and comedy. For comedy is claimed by the Megarians here in Greece, who say it began among them at the time when they became a democracy [c. 580 BC], and by the Megarians of Sicily on the grounds that the poet Epicharmas came from there and was much earlier than Chionides and Magnes; while tragedy is claimed by certain Dorians of the Peloponnese. They offer the words as evidence, noting that outlying villages, called dêmoi by the Athenians, are called kômai by them, and alleging that kômôdoi (comedians) acquired their name, not from kômazein (to revel), but from the fact that, being expelled in disgrace from the city, they wandered from village to village. The Dorians further point out that their word for "to do" is drân, whereas the Athenians use prattein. ”(Aristotle: Poetics Chapter 3)